On Friday, June 5, 2015, the United Nations Volunteers program will issue a report on the effectiveness of volunteering programs around the world. I obtained an advance copy of the report.
The report suggests that volunteerism is a critical piece in moving forward to address global problems like the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
The report’s author, Amanda Mukwashi, the Chief of the Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section at United Nations Volunteers, says, “The Sustainable Development Goals will only succeed in tackling poverty and inequality if they take on board the needs of all citizens. Volunteers can be catalysts for a much fairer and more equal world – if they’re invited to the table.”
The report itself notes, “Volunteerism is a force for harnessing the power of peoples’ voice and participation to influence governance, and enhanced voice and participation are associated with more responsive and accountable governments.”
Mukwashi adds, “Volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments more accountable and responsive to their citizens – and helping women and marginalized groups have a say in decisions that affect their lives.”
“Too many governments are failing to acknowledge – and leverage – the immense potential of volunteers to help them chart a more successful development path,” Mukwashi adds.